I love looking back at old drafts and seeing who the busts and pleasant surprises were. The 1994 draft has to be one of the best drafts for this purpose. There were some solid picks in the first round, along with some busts, but the top scorer of the entire draft class- Daniel Alfredsson wasn't drafted until the sixth round. And then there's the goalies- such studs as Jamie Storr, Eric Fichaud and Evgeni Ryabchikov were taken in the first round before Dan Cloutier, Jose Theodore and Marty Turco (who was taken in the fifth round!). There were nine other goalies taken between rounds 1 and 8. They played a total of 0 games in the NHL. Then the ninth round rolled around and Nabokov, Grahame, Hedberg and Vokoun were all taken! I know scouting isn't an exact science but how could those other nine guys be taken over those four? But that's what makes the draft exciting- you never know what your going to get until almost ten years later. One other note about the '94 draft, the very last pick of the draft was Kim Johnsson, who has turned out better than some of the first rounders from that draft.
Sometimes I equate the NHL draft with trying to figure out who will be most successful in life after high school graduation. Naturally there'll be a few people with high GPAs and high SATs that are headed to a prestigious university who are voted most likely to succeed.
But between the ages of 18-22, there is a lot of growing up needed to be done. Some folks get unmotivated, especially after being in the top 5% of their high school class......only to get to college and realize that they were in the bottom 10% of that 5%. Then there are those who just couldn't handle the freedom of not being near an authority figure.
But like you said, it's always fun looking back at drafts 10 years from now. Pretty much the same fun of going to a 10 year high school reunion.
Just a random anecdote, before being traded to New Jersey, Jason Arnott lived by himself. And the guy had no idea how to cook for himself, basically ate fast food all the time. After being traded, he lived with Scott Stevens for awhile, where Stevens' wife basically became like Arnott's mom and cooked him sensible dinners. So if Arnott ever seemed lazy and out of shape while in Edmonton....
I think that back in the early/mid 90's euro's still were getting scouted and werent a high priority like they are these days, thus the reasoning for why i think alfredsson, hedberg, and others werent drafted till later